Rethinking the Parental Role in Sexuality Education

28 October 2021

University of Canterbury Health Lecturer Tracy Clelland to present at The Collaborative Trust Research Seminar Series.

  • Teenagers on devices

"I feel it should be talked about more but not in the way it is currently", Male 15y

"Talking with my children about sex- It just makes me feel inadequate" Parent

The two quotes above frame this research seminar. For a long time, young people have told us they want better relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in schools and their parents to talk more openly about sexuality. However, many parents feel inadequately prepared to do this and often draw on fear-based paradigms to discuss the complexity inherent in human relationships and topics such as love, sex and pornography. Extensive research highlights the need to rethink sexuality education in schools, especially in the digital age where young people can access information at the touch of a button. While this change needs to happen, what is missing from the picture is how parents make sense of sexuality education, the discourses they draw on, and how this impacts both the young person and the parent.

This seminar will share research conducted with parents of children aged 11-14 into their experiences of sexuality education with their children. Through engaging with the voices of parents and young people, this seminar highlights a range of discourses that hinder sexuality education and a range of strategies that support a change in the kōrero of RSE. Research clearly states that quality RSE makes a difference in young people's lives. Let's start changing the conversations.

Seminar to be held:


Friday 19 November 

12:30pm - 1:30pm 

Manawa Building, 276 Antigua Street, Christchurch

Register online 

Theresa Yamit

New UC grad helping to give youth a voice in health

Taking theory from the lecture theatre and putting it into practice has inspired University of Canterbury (UC) Health Sciences graduate Therese Yamit ...

Kim Driscoll and Huirong (Suki) Yi

Celebrating UC excellence in early childhood education

For both Kim Driscoll and Huirong (Suki) Yi, the pandemic sparked a new direction by unlocking a passion to study for careers in early childhood ...